Some women take their stretch marks as badges for giving birth to a new life. Even though many people wear these colored marks proudly, many others consider them as unsightly and embarrassing. Luckily for these people, there are many stretch mark remedies to improve their appearance.
Learn more about stretch marks, how they form and what you can do about them to regain your confidence. Let’s start with some FAQs on stretch marks, but keep on reading, because you’ll find lots of tips on stretch mark reduction all the way to the end.
How Do Stretch Marks Form?
Stretch marks are visible and indented streaks on the skin that appear when your body grows at a faster rate than your skin can keep up with. When this happens, your skin will stretch too much or too fast, until the inner elastic tissues break and cause reddish or purplish narrow streaks that may eventually turn into a silvery or gray color.
Stretch marks can appear anywhere in your body, but they are more common in the following areas:
- Upper Arms
Stretch marks will not cause pain, but they can be itchy when new.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks occur mainly due to rapid growth. It can affect anyone, but there are other factors that increase your risk of developing them. These factors include:
- Being Overweight or Obese
- Spurt Growths During Puberty
- Gaining and Losing Weight Fast
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Marfan Syndrome, also known as Marfan’s Disease
- Prolonged Use of Corticosteroids
- One or Both Parents Have Stretch Marks
If you have darker skin, you may tend to develop stretch marks with a lighter color than your complexion. If you have fair skin, you are more likely to develop pinkish or reddish stretch marks.
Is There a Way to Prevent Stretch Marks?
Sadly, you cannot prevent stretch from appearing. If you stumble upon products that claim to prevent stretch marks, do not be deceived. The best thing you can do before and even after stretch marks appear is to keep your skin hydrated and nourished, so your skin will feel and look better. Keeping your skin hydrated can also reduce the itchiness that comes with the stretching of your skin.
Oftentimes, the type of treatment depends on where the scars are, so you should look for specific products, such as stretch mark remedies for thighs, upper arms, breasts or the buttocks.
Here are tips on how to reduce the appearance of stretch marks:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Limit your intake of coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
- Eat a well-balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fish.
- Avoid gaining too much weight.
- Lose weight but do it properly and slowly.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid scratching your stretch marks when they feel itchy.
Stretch marks are inevitable if you are meant to have them. On a positive note, there are many things you can do to improve their appearance, so you can feel more comfortable.
Is It Possible to Permanently Remove Stretch Marks?
This is the most common question people with stretch marks ask. The definite answer is no. According to skin experts, a stretch mark is a type of scar, and scars are permanent. Treatments may make stretch marks narrower, lighter in color and less visible, but they cannot permanently remove stretch marks altogether.
Stretch Mark Removal: Painless Stretch Mark Remedies to Try
People with stretch marks often choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. There are a lot of stretch mark removal options available such as surgery, laser therapy, chemical peeling, creams and natural remedies. More advanced treatments, such as surgery can be costly, painful and may take a lot of recovery time. This is the reason why a lot of people turn to less expensive and painless remedies.
1. Alfalfa Powder Paste
The leaves of alfalfa contain amino acids necessary for the repair and development of new skin cells. They also contain vitamin E and vitamin K; nutrients that can help improve your skin’s appearance, especially on the areas affected by stretch marks.
To use alfalfa for stretch marks, you will need alfalfa powder and chamomile oil. You can find these in most health food stores, as well as online shops like Amazon.
Next, complete the following steps:
- Put alfalfa powder in a small bowl.
- Add a few drops of chamomile oil.
- Mix well until they form a thick paste.
- Massage the paste on the affected area for at least five minutes.
- Allow the paste to sit on your skin for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
You can apply this paste two to three times daily to get the best results.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a popular natural remedy for different skin problems due to its healing and anti-bacterial properties. Aloe vera has numerous benefits when it comes to stretch marks, including:
- Aloe vera can penetrate deep into your skin to nourish and repair damaged fibers.
- Aloe vera has antioxidants that help repair damaged skin cells, which improves your skin’s appearance.
- Aloe vera also has a cooling effect that can help soothe itchiness.
If you have an aloe vera plant in your garden, just cut a couple of leaves and rub the open end on the affected skin. Let the aloe vera gel sit on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
You can also squeeze the gel out of the leaves then mix it with vitamin A and vitamin E oils. Massage the mixture into your skin and let it stay for at least ten minutes before rinsing it off. Aloe vera will not harm your skin, so you can use it daily if you want.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a known remedy for hair loss. It is beneficial for a variety of skin problems, including stretch marks. One of the most important substances in castor oil is the ricinoleic acid. This substance is effective in keeping your skin moisturized and can improve skin discolorations, as well. When you buy castor oil, be sure to choose the pure variety.
To use castor oil for stretch marks, perform the following steps:
- Mix castor oil with a carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil to reduce the thickness and increase effectivity.
- Apply and massage castor oil on the affected area.
- Cover the area with a thin cloth or heating pad to enable better absorption.
Repeat this procedure daily to get better results.
4. Cocoa Butter: Reasons It Prevents and Also Combats Scars
Cocoa butter is an emollient that can help combat the signs of aging and the unsightliness of stretch marks. Not only does it moisturize the skin, but it can also destroy scar tissues and inhibit new ones from forming.
Experts say cocoa butter may not be highly effective for improving stretch marks because just like other emollients, the substances and nutrients will only rest on the top surface of your skin. They say emollients are only effective in soothing the itchiness that comes with fresh stretch marks. Cocoa butter brings a lot of other benefits for other areas besides your skin, so there is no reason not to use it.
5. Egg Whites: Tighten Your Skin with Amino Acid
Egg whites are a common ingredient in face packs, because they can help tighten your skin and make it look firmer. You can also use egg whites to improve the appearance of your stretch marks. They are a good source of amino acids, or the building blocks of protein that help repair and build skin cells and tissues for better looking skin.
To use egg whites on your stretch marks, follow these easy steps:
- Whip two egg whites in a bowl.
- Apply a layer of whipped eggs on the affected area and let it dry on your skin.
- Leave on for at least 10 minutes then rinse thoroughly.
Egg whites can dry your skin, so follow up with a natural moisturizer, such as olive oil. Do this daily for two weeks to achieve results.
6. Lemon Juice for Better Color and Freshness
Lemon juice has similar effects as potato juice. It can lighten the skin’s complexion and may improve the color of stretch marks. Lemon juice is also a natural exfoliant that can help remove dead skin cells to reveal a fresh-looking skin.
To use lemon juice, follow these simple steps:
- Cut a piece of lemon in half.
- Squeeze the other half and save the other half for later.
- Rub the juice on the affected area in circular motion.
- Let it stay on your skin for 1o minutes before rinsing it off with water.
Lemon juice is highly acidic and may dry your skin, apply a moisturizer after using lemon juice on skin.
7. Potato Juice Nourishes Your Skin
Potato juice contains nutrients that can help repair or heal damaged skin cells. It can also help lighten or brighten your skin to improve its appearance and make stretch marks less visible.
To use potato juice on your skin, follow these steps:
- Cut a piece of potato into thick slices.
- Rub the open side of the potato on the affected skin and let the juice dry.
- Leave it on your skin for at least five minutes.
- Rinse off and dry your skin.
Potato juice may strip off your skin’s moisture so be sure to use a moisturizer after using it on your skin.
8. Olive Oil: An Age Old Remedy for Your Skin Troubles
Many pregnant women use olive oil to prevent stretch marks. Some women say it made their skin soft and moisturized while others say it was effective in improving their stretch marks. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants that may help nourish and protect skin cells to give your skin to keep your skin smooth and improve your skin’s elasticity.
To use olive oil for stretch marks, apply warm olive oil on the affected area and massage slowly. Let the oil sit on your skin for an hour then rinse it off. If it is your first time to use olive oil, apply small amounts first to avoid that greasy look that can last for days.
9. Sugar: A Sweet Scrub to Remove Dead Skin
Sugar is a common ingredient in DIY scrubs due to its exfoliating benefit. The sugar granules can help you eliminate dead skin to give your skin a healthy and refreshed look. It may not remove stretch marks, but it can make them less unsightly.
To make your own exfoliate, follow these steps:
- Put a tablespoon of sugar in a small bowl.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a few drops of almond oil.
- Gently rub on the skin with stretch marks in a circular
- Rinse well with warm water and towel your skin dry.
Lemon juice has lightening properties, which may contribute to the effect of the sugar scrub on your skin. You can use these scrub regularly.
10. Tretinoin: Not for Expectant or Nursing Moms
According to some research, the use of topical creams that contain tretinoin may be effective in treating stretch marks. Research also shows that tretinoin creams provided better results when used on fresh stretch marks than old ones.
However, doctors do not recommend tretinoin as one of the stretch mark remedies during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. It can cause birth defects in unborn babies or development problems in breastfed babies. Additionally, you have to avoid sun exposure when using tretinoin. You need to use it daily, and results may be visible after about six months of use.
Learn more about tretinoin here.
11. Vitamin E for a Skin Deep Solution
Vitamin E is one of the most essential components in skin healing and regeneration. Thus, it is no wonder that vitamin E became one of the favorite ingredients in many skin care products including stretch marks creams.
Vitamin E may effectively improve stretch marks by keeping your skin moisturized, more elastic and firmer. Massaging vitamin E oil or lotions that contain vitamin E can help improve your skin’s outer appearance because it stimulates new skin cell production, collagen production and it improves blood flow. However, its effect on the skin will not go deeper to the overstretched fibers.
12. Bio Oil: One Product, Many Uses
Bio Oil is a product you can use to treat several skin problems, such as aging, dry skin, uneven skin tone and stretch marks. Bio Oil may improve the appearance of your stretch marks by moisturizing your skin and improving your skin’s elasticity, though any improvement may only be noticeable after a long period of use.
13. Stretch Mark Laser Removal: Your Option When All Else Fails
With the advancement of laser technology, laser treatments can be as painless as creams and home remedies. Although laser treatment is a bit costly, it is one of the most effective options there is when it comes to stretch mark removal.
Laser treatments use high-intensity light beams that penetrate the skin to remove dead skin cells. This eliminates scar tissues to give way to healthier skin cells and a new skin. To achieve the best results, you may need to go through several sessions of laser treatment.
Bio Oil contains several ingredients that are beneficial to your skin, such as chamomile oil, lavender oil, vitamins A, and E but one of its main ingredients is PurCellin oil. It is the man-made version of the oil found in the duck’s feathers that make them water-proof.
These stretch mark remedies for men and women are mostly natural; therefore, they may take a longer time to take effect. Most people will lose hope upon seeing no improvements on the first or second week. Stretch marks will naturally improve in appearance, but it can take a long time.
These stretch mark remedies can help you cut the long time short; however, they do not guarantee a 100-percent positive result. Stretch marks are scars underneath the skin. Scars may be permanent, but these 13 painless remedies can help you improve stretch marks.